Before a student decides to withdraw or cancel his/her enrollment or if he/she is dismissed from UC Berkeley, the student must first speak with an International Student Advisor at Berkeley International Office. It is also important that undergraduates speak with their college advisors (i.e. College of Letters & Science) and graduate students speak with their graduate student affairs officers or faculty advisor before taking steps to cancel or withdraw. This will help students learn about the consequences, fee payment/reimbursements and readmission.
Withdrawal and Cancellations
Withdrawal or cancellation without prior Berkeley International Office approval will be reported to SEVIS. The SEVIS record will be terminated and lawful F-1 or J-1 status including F-1 and J-1 employment eligibility and benefits may be lost.
If a withdrawal is due to a medical condition and the student is approved by BIO and UHS for an official Medical Withdrawal, the SEVIS record will not be terminated for the applicable semester. For more information, review the medical withdrawal request process.
If BIO is informed prior to the withdrawal, they may be able to provide the student with a 15-day grace period during which time they would be able to stay lawfully in the U.S. and prepare for departure or transfer to another U.S. institution. Students will be asked to complete a Cancellation/Withdrawal Form.
If BIO is not informed prior to the withdrawal, cancellation or dismissal, there is no grace period. The SEVIS record is terminated and the student will lose lawful F-1 or J-1 status. In this case, the student must depart the U.S. immediately.
Planned Leave of Absence
Planned Leave of Absence used by students for non-EAP study abroad is not considered an official registration status for SEVIS purposes. As a result, Berkeley International Office must end the I-20 or DS-2019s of students who enroll in the Planned Leave of Absence program in order to study abroad. Per university policy, no Application for Readmission is required for students on Planned Leave of Absence however students must contact Berkeley International Office in order to request a new I-20 or DS-2019 in order to return.
- For further information about withdrawals and cancellations, see the UC Berkeley General Catalog.
- For information about returning to UC Berkeley after a withdrawal or cancellation please see the UC Berkeley General Catalog. See also the BIO information for Returning Students.
Students who are dismissed may lose their lawful F-1 or J-1 status. During the first semester on probation, students are strongly encouraged to see a BIO advisor during drop-ins to establish a back-up plan to avoid immigration problems. To maintain status, students who may be dismissed must work with Berkeley International Office to identify a new institution to transfer their I-20 or DS-2019 prior to the effective dismissal date. Students who are outside the US at the time of dismissal are not eligible to re-enter the US with the UC Berkeley I-20 or DS-2019.
- L&S Undergraduate students can find more information about avoiding dismissal at: